When I was younger I heard stories about a young boy named David. He defeated a strong adversary named Goliath. Growing up I learned about other unlikely triumphs as well:
- The New York Giants faced their Goliath in Super Bowl XLII. They went toe-to-toe with the undefeated New England Patriots, and scored two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to pull off a dramatic upset.
- Thomas Edison invented the light bulb after facing his Goliath hundreds and hundreds of times. If you had asked Edison, he’d have said that he did not fail 1,000 times, but instead he learned 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb. What a perspective!
- Truman eventually triumphed over Dewey in the 1948 Presidential Election, but only after being counted out early by the Chicago Tribune. They were so certain of his demise that they ran headlines that were incorrect.
Each of the examples above involves an epic upset from the past, but what would the educational headlines say today? Would they mistakenly predict a victory for Goliath?
A vast number of conversations are currently being dedicated to assessment and accountability. My concern is that assessment for the purpose of ranking students or comparing kids is not sound pedagogy. How a student fills in his bubbles should not be the sole purpose of education or the single determinant of his success. Is this best for kids, and who is responsible for this storyline?
In many ways we are responsible and may indirectly perpetuate some of the very things we care deeply about changing. The good news is that we can all aspire to be like David in confronting the status quo; we are the New York Giants, Thomas Edison, and Harry S. Truman rolled into one.
Against all odds, I believe the status quo is in for a whooping! The greatest comeback story in education is playing out right now in innovative classrooms across the country. Inspiring educators are focused on high achievement for each and every child, and we’re writing a new educational narrative at the same time.
Through personalized learning, meaningful technology integration, and establishing authentic relationships our focus is on student passion, potential, collaboration, critical-thinking, creation, and sharing.
I bet Goliath never saw this coming! It’s rally time and we must persevere.
We are David and our students are counting on us to see this through!
**Photo Credit: GreenhousesportsBlogspot.com